Long popular in the East, soyfoods have only recently found a home in Western kitchens. Yet beyond tofu, many people are still at a loss about what to do with the versatile bean. Use the primer below as one might use a tour guide to a foreign culture. All these soyfoods can be found in supermarkets, natural-foods stores or Asian groceries.
What it is: Cooked soybeans, sometimes combined with rice or millet, that have been inoculated with a beneficial mold and allowed to ferment briefly, resulting in a chewy, nut-flavored soybean loaf. The grains are covered with a whitish mold, which is fully edible.
What to do with it: Commonly vacuum-sealed, sometimes marinated, smoked or grilled, tempeh is usually found next to the tofu in the store. Crumble a little into scrambled eggs, slice and sauté to make a decent veggie burger, or use like meat in stir-fries, stews or tomato sauce. Store tempeh wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after opening.